A Letter to Students Experiencing Loneliness

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"Hello my lovelies,

It’s your biggest fan Steph (VP Education) here, and I want to talk to you about how you might be feeling and provide some hints and tips on how we can feel a little more comfortable as we go into the second lockdown.

As the Elected Officer who has lived alone throughout the pandemic, I’m not going to lie and say I’ve had a wonderful time – because I haven’t. In fact, living alone can really suck. I’m not a tactile person but even I am missing the odd cuddle! So coming to a new place during the midst of a pandemic must be really hard going and feel incredibly lonely.

But you are not alone in being lonely.

Now this blog is not going to be all about how we can eradicate loneliness – but there are going to be a few tips on how we can survive being numero uno!

TIP 1 – ‘People have it so much worse than me’

Don’t invalidate how you feel, as human beings, we do this all the time. We invalidate how strongly we feel by measuring our feelings against the catastrophes that other people are facing, but by doing that we simply make ourselves feel worse because now on top of feeling crappy, we are feeling guilty. You have every right whether in or outside of a pandemic to feel rubbish, you don’t need to give yourself a harder time than you are already facing.

So, acknowledge how you are feeling – don’t equate it to others, because you are not them and they are not you. Being honest with yourself can help you face the situation head on.

TIP 2 – ‘I’ll be there, yes I will, you got a friend’

Sometimes, all you will need is a friendly face to talk to. So remember those people that you call family or friends? Speak to them! I am sure that they are feeling rubbish currently too! They could be waiting for you to reach out so be that person that makes the first move! You could organise a regular catch-up call, vary it by having Netflix parties, quizzes, dance parties, fancy dress using household items or just a general natter!

If you are wanting to make new friends, then there are a few ways to do that! You can utilise our social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get involved in the conversations on there – including our fantastic SU Community Page. There are also the fantastic societies, sports and volunteering opportunities which guarantee something to pique your interest and these student-led activities are working hard to make sure they can be safe and online. I have joined 5 already and feel like I can be a part of the student communities within. You can access them here!

We also have a new app called Umii which can help create student conversations based on interests.

TIP 3 – ‘Darling reach out!’

As a member of the University, you have access to a number of student support services which are designed to support you as students. As a student, I’m pretty sure I used every service going, at one point I was at the brink, but I reached out – and felt so much better by doing so. The staff in these services have dealt with everything – from the minor to the bizarre and can help support you in the rough as well as the smooth.

The details are as follows:

TIP 4 – Use this opportunity to be a little selfish and selfless

When I asked for some tips on how to combat loneliness – you guys did not disappoint! We have a plethora of ideas which were epic.

 

  • Looking after your body
    • Why not try some new recipes and/ or batch cook for those days where cooking just isn’t for you! We have a fantastic volunteer opportunity called Scran and a student led society called Eat to win which can give you plenty of ideas on scrummy food for the soul!  You can find them both on Instagram using @SCRAN and @uclan_eattowin.
    • Have a pamper session! Have a bubble bath or a shower with lovely scented soap! Wash your hair and style, moisturise your face or even paint your nails. A little pamper is always on the cards

 

  • Looking after your mind and soul
    • Write in a diary or complete a bullet journal – these are great ways to become more creative with noting your feelings! There are great ways of setting these up creatively - www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cCMUfgQ2tk
    • Get into a good book – this world seems pretty rubbish at the moment, so I have been reading so much more in order to get out of my flat and transform into an Aristocrat in the 18th Century. You could even pick travel books and travel the world from the comfort of your bed. The University library has so many amazing books that there will be at least one that tickles your fancy.
    • Get artsy – remember that artistic flare that you always wanted to practice? NOW IS THE TIME! Practice those skills and become the next Van Gogh, James Taylor or Frida!
    • Utilise free learning opportunities with the University Linked in Learning which you can access by clicking here.
    • Also look for volunteering opportunities at the Students’ Union and in the local community through google that can help feed your soul. Helping others can also help yourself and create bonds.
    • Have a cry when you need to and be present in your emotions – it’s good for you! Being mindful of your mind is really important – here is a great video on it

 

TIP 4 – Just Be.

Only you know how you survive best, if that is through a structured schedule then go for it but do not feel like you need to be productive all the time. It is okay to have days where nothing on the list gets ticked off. Those days are just as successful as the days when you are over productive.

You got this..

I hope this has helped, but if you have further ideas on how to beat loneliness that post them on social media with #CombatLonelinessTogether and tag @UCLanSU!

You are amazing, you are valid and you are not alone.

All my love,

Steph VP Education

"

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